A Diagnostic Test for Schizophrenia

Technology #ua16-066

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Researchers
Amelia Gallitano-Mendel
Associate Professor, COM Phx Basic Medical Sci
Managed By
Rakhi Gibbons
Asst. Director, Life Sciences (520) 626-6695

Title: A Diagnostic Test for Schizophrenia

 

Invention: A method by which schizophrenia can be diagnosed by providing patients with a single dose of antipsychotic medication and a questionnaire. The questionnaire serves to determine their degree of sleepiness/sedation in response to the medicine, which aids in dictating their diagnosis. In addition, a blood test for serotonin 2A receptors, biomarkers associated with schizophrenia, can be administered quickly and without specialized training.

 

Background: Schizophrenia can only be diagnosed by a specialist after spending months, if not years, becoming familiar with a patient and their symptoms. This process can be very expensive, impractical, or even impossible if the patient lives somewhere rural or without sufficient access to psychiatric specialists. Dr. Gallitano, the inventor, has focused his research on psychiatric illnesses. Research conducted in mice by Dr. Gallitano and others demonstrates a parallel between knockouts of transcription factor Egr3 and decreases in serotonin 2A receptor activity, which is reported in patients with schizophrenia. In addition, mice without the Egr3 gene also exhibit unique responses to the antipsychotic clozapine. The link between serotonin 2A and schizophrenia is the basis for the blood test.

 

Applications:

  • Research method
  • Medical diagnostic
  • Professional psychiatrists, non-specialists in rural or developing areas, or in situations where long-term psychiatric evaluations are impractical or impossible

 

Advantages:

  • Potential to replace the lengthy standard process
  • Quick, easy to administer
  • Shortens the amount of time it takes to conduct research on schizophrenia
  • Relatively cheap to administer
  • Does not require the test administrator to be a psychiatric specialist
  • A single blood test in the kit would eliminate, or at least reduce, the need for additional blood tests
  • Increases accuracy
  • Aids in eliminating biases based on thoughts, moods, substance use, delusions, hallucinations, and other symptoms that must be known to properly diagnose a patient
  • Potential to identify subtypes of schizophrenia

 

Licensing Manager: 

Rakhi Gibbons

rakhig@tla.arizona.edu

(520) 626-6695